What is Integrated Pest Management?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective, efficient and environmentally conscious approach to pest control that works with a combination of common-sense practices. A successful IPM program uses comprehensive knowledge on the living habits and life cycles of pests and their effect on the environment. The information we gather, in combination with current pest control methods, is used to assess the specific needs of the situation at hand, and take action with the least possible harm done to other people, the property, and the environment.
This approach can be applied to all settings, such as the home, garden, workplace and agriculture. It takes advantage of all appropriate pest management options which include, but are not limited to, the use of harsh pesticides. Even organic food farmers apply the same concepts but limit the use of pesticides to naturally sourced products instead of synthetic chemicals.
How does IPM work?
IPM is not one pest control method but rather a series of evaluations, decisions and control measures. In practicing, business owners who are aware of the potential for pest infestation, and problems conducive to these pests, use a four-tiered system. These steps are:
Setting Action Thresholds
Before taking action, we first set an action threshold, this is a point at which pest infestation or environmental conditions indicate that pest control action must be taken. Seeing a single insect, rat, bird or bat doesn’t always mean control is necessary. Knowing the level at which pests will become a financial threat is a critical guide to making pest control decisions.
Identifying and Monitoring Pests
Not all insects, rodents and wildlife need control. Many are not harmful or offensive, and some of them are even beneficial to have around. Effective IPM programs monitor for pests and identify them accurately, this ensures that appropriate decisions can be made in conjunction with the action thresholds set in place. Monitoring and identification removes the possibility that harsh pesticides will be used when they are not needed or worse that the wrong kind of pesticide is used.
The first line of pest control works to manage the space to prevent pests from becoming a threat. This could be anything from bird spikes to a gel bait for insects, they aim to keep pests away from important areas. Preventative control methods can be very effective, cost-efficient and present little to no risk for other people or the environment.
When monitoring, identification, and action thresholds begin to show that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective, We evaluate the proper control method for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that these controls are not effective, then additional pest control methods will need to be employed, including spraying of pesticides to specific areas. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort and is almost never used.